Thursday, August 27, 2015

A Green Ingredient

Pandan leaves, also known as screwpine leaves, is one of my favourite ingredient to cook with, especially in bakes and desserts. It has a subtle fragrance which I love very much. There are several pandan recipes on this blog and this time I'm adding a bread recipe for Pandan Pullman Loaf.

Pandan bread is also very common, you can get them in bakeries and also commercial loaves in the supermarkets. However most of them uses the artificial pandan paste/coloring, which results in a bright green color with a strange aftertaste. Pandan leaves are cheap but to get the natural juice from it it's quite a bit of work to blend the leaves and then sifting to extract the juice. Which is why people resort to the artificial ones for convenience. I confess I used to use that too, but as I age(yes, getting older) I try to steer away from preservatives/colorings as much as I can manage.

I adapted and modified this recipe from my Black Sesame Milk Loaf

Pandan Pullman Loaf - 

Ingredients (A) – mix well
280g bread flour
30g TopFlour/Cake flour
15g milk powder
40g sugar
4g salt

Ingredients (B)
5g dry yeast plus 20g water
26g egg (beat whole egg, then measure)
180g pandan juice(blend 1 large bunch cleaned pandan leaves with ~250ml water). See here link for method.

You will need a 
8” by 4” loaf tin with lid

1)Dissolve yeast in 20g water and wait for 5 mins to become frothy. Stir well
2) Mix the yeast with the remaining ingredients in A and B together to form a dough. *Knead into a smooth and elastic dough until it passes the 'window-pane test'.
3) Round the dough, placed into an oiled bowl, cover and ferment until double in size, about 45 mins to 1 hour

4) Punch down the dough to release some air. Rest dough for 5mins. Remove 100g dough - form 1 large ball or 2 small ones(reason being I find if I use all the dough it will be too much for my loaf tin). For the remaining dough, shape dough into a loaf and place in a greased/lined tin. Cover with cling wrap and let rise until dough has risen to about 1.5 times the height(it should still be below the rim of the tin), about 35minutes.
5) Grease the lid of the pullman loaf tin well and slide in to cover
6) Bake in preheated 180C oven for 20 mins. Carefully remove the tin and continue baking for 8-10 mins to brown the top

I used my Kitchenaid and kneaded for a total of 25 mins on Speed 2. It will be sticky at first. Be patient, the dough will leave the bottom of the bowl around 10-15mins. Resist the temptation to add more flour before this as it will toughen the bread.

Completed! Very soft and pillowy, even on the next day! :D

Served with kaya and butter, complete with kopi-o for a traditional Singaporean breakfast set!

Or if you prefer a more western style, pan fry the egg-coated slices for French Toast! Served with fresh fruits here.